FIFA survey shows investment problems for international women’s soccer

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With three CONCACAF nations in the world’s Top 25, it’s easy to forget how far ahead women’s soccer in America is compared to much of the world.

A FIFA survey backs that up and then some, laying out the unfortunate details. Fewer than 20 percent of FIFA’s members have a women’s national team, and less than a quarter have staff dedicated to fostering the women’s side of the sport.

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The news won’t come as a surprise to those who remember stories like Trinidad & Tobago’s problems before the CONCACAF qualifiers in October.

The survey was filled out by 177 of 209 FIFA members, according to an Associated Press report:

FIFA has committed to double funding for women’s football through 2018, without giving specific financial details.

The research found almost $39 million was invested by the 177 members last year, at an average of $220,000.

FIFA said it already committed to supporting 298 projects across 120 federations this year.

$220,000 is nothing when you consider how elevated that figure must be by the big dollars invested in the United States and much of Europe. To put that figure in perspective, of the 32 nations at last summer’s men’s World Cup, only one coach was paid less than $220,000: Mexico’s Miguel Herrera at $209K.

Yet there aren’t a lot of easy answers here in a world resistant to investment and worried about profit versus development.

With the 2015 World Cup headed to Canada this summer, the USWNT ranks No. 2 in the world before their Sunday loss to France, Canada is 9th and Mexico is 25th.